Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is God?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Lisa: There is only one God.

Joe: Huh? But the Bible says that God is three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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When I was little, I couldn’t comprehend the nature of God until I started to read the Bible the book in which God reveals Himself to us. The number one is very important when talking about God’s oneness (1 Corinthians 8:6). Just as there’s one human race, the Bible teaches that there is only one God (John 10:30).

Throughout the scriptures, we’ve seen God appear in the form of attributes. We’ve read about Him rescuing His people from bondage and famines. We’ve read about His awesome indescribable love for us, sending Angels to guide, and providing the ULTIMATE sacrifice for our sins. Yet, we come away without fully understanding God. He is the great “I AM” and this scripture sums up His all-mighty and powerful nature:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

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Here’s the thing I gathered from this scripture: There is a reason why God’s ways and thoughts are HIGHER than ours. We’re puny unworthy mortals compared to Him and if we could get on the same level as our Creator, then we’ll make ourselves equal to Him, and He wouldn’t be worth worshiping. A few years ago, a friend posed the question: Wouldn’t you like to know EVERYTHING? Back then, my simple reply was no, hers was yes, and she veered into so many reasons why. Now, I am able to say that I don’t have to comprehend everything, just enough of what God wants me to know.

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Our job isn’t to fully understand God, but to trust Him and to know Him and it’s not impossible to get to know Him. I don’t like discussing topics as these, for we tend to downsize God to our limitations. So don’t take my word for it. If you want to discover the true God, crack open the Bible and get to know Him for He reveals Himself in the Holy Scriptures.

I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about God while reading/studying the Word:

^ God is the Creator of the universe and all that is in it; He’s not just “some deity” that created the world for fun for He put a lot of detail into it (Genesis 1).

^ Although powerfully great, He is very much approachable (Hebrews 4:16).

^ God is the very essence of love (1 John 4:8; 19-21).

^ God will ultimately hold us accountable for He knows EXACTLY what we do (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

^ It is better to fear God rather than man (Matthew 10:28).

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In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our awesome amazing Creator!

COMING SOON: Who is Jesus Christ?

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Bible’s Most Asked Questions #5: But who created God?

In the beginning, there was NOTHING to see, hear, smell or even feel. It was only emptiness and darkness. But God was there, and He had a great plan: to create something out of nothingness. He spoke the world into existence and everything He made was declared good. He saved the best for last: people. We were to be His children and the world our perfect home. 

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God is the Creator of so much beauty in the world including you and me. This can make us stop to wonder: But who created the Creator? I’ve heard this question time after time, sometimes innocently asked by a child. Did God create Himself? How did He come into existence? Do you know the answer? Let’s consult His Word.

God is eternal meaning that He has always existed. He inhabits eternity and the Bible stresses on His eternal Being (Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Timothy 1:17).

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Scriptures show that God did not come from anywhere (John 1:1). He was not created for He has no beginning and will have no end. He is the great “I AM”. Before the universe was breathed into existence, He existed for He is not restricted to time as we are. 

“In the beginning…” is also when time began. There was no time before time was created and because God is timeless/eternal, this task was achieved. Before creation, there was God, and He was always existing in eternity for He was not created. He did not create Himself for He is eternal. For the world to be created, God had to already exist in order to bring forth this action. Had He never existed, He wouldn’t have been capable to create anything, therefore, God did not create Himself.

He is uncreated, He simply exists, and will continue to exist for He is eternal. 

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion, Origins

Did three wise men really visit Jesus?

The birth of Christ is wrapped up in folklore and tradition (man’s) and marketed to the world as Christmas. The nativity scene takes the center of attention in window displays, schools and offices, often misleading believers.

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The Nativity Scene Origin

The first nativity scene was created in 1223 in Greccio, central Italy by Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said to represent the true “spirit” of Christmas. However, many depictions of Jesus’s birth are filled with inaccuracies and it conflicts with the true Biblical account. We often see the little family, three wise men, sometimes a shepherd or two, a few animals, huddled around a newborn, the scene illuminated by the light of a lone star. Pretty wonderful and harmonic, right? But this is most unlikely.

Why can’t we be satisfied with the Biblical account? The true account?

The visiting Wise Men 

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The wise men came from the east to see the infant after following a star (Matthew 2:2). Magi or wise men originally referred to a class of priests from Persia. They were said to be students of astrology, hence why they noticed the strange star, to begin with, and followed it.

It’s unclear how many wise men were there as the Bible doesn’t speculate, but because they brought three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11) –  it’s assumed that it was three wise men. It could’ve been two wise men bringing those gifts. It could’ve been as much as five, six or even ten wise men.

Manger or house?

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We’re told that the wise men visited Jesus in the stable while He was in a manger. Luke 2:8-20 shows that the shepherds who were watching over their flock in the field by night were given the news of Jesus’s birth by angels and they visited Jesus as He lay in a manger. It’s most likely that they saw the newborn Savoir before the Magi. And it’s no coincidence that the angels broke the news to the shepherds first, for it foreshadowed Christ as the good Shepherd.

In Matthew 2:11, by the time the wise men arrive, Mary and Joseph are not in a stable, but in a house. It’s likely that it took the wise men, days, months or even a few years to arrive on the scene.

The gifts the Wise Men brought.

The Magi brought three significant gifts that bore spiritual meanings. 

Gold recognizes Jesus as the King of Kings and the great High Priest. The Magi acknowledged that they were in the presence of a King. Gold was highly valued by kings as we see with Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9:20. Gold was also woven into the fabric of the high priest (Exodus 28). 

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Frankincense recognizes Him as the perfect Lamb sacrifice and it has a wonderful fragrance. It was used for making incense (Exodus 30:34), was an ingredient in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2) and it was also an ingredient in perfumes (Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:14).

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Myrrh recognizes His death and resurrection. It was first mentioned in Genesis 37:25 where it was carried by camels in a caravan. It was used for burial embalming (John 19:39), as an ingredient in anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25) and as a perfume (Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13). It was also used in Jesus’ burial (John 19:39).

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The frankincense and myrrh trees are cut and bruised to bleed out the resin to use for healing, perfumes, incense, and anointing. Do you see the spiritual symbolism when it comes to Christ, Who suffered and shed His blood for humanity? By His stripes, we’re healed!

In conclusion

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Matthew is the only Gospel writer that mentions the wise men visiting Christ after His birth. The account states that after Jesus’s birth, the wise men visit King Herod to inquire about Jesus’s actual location. However, Herod doesn’t have a clue though he’s troubled, and seeks the services of the wise men to locate the newborn Savior under the guise of wanting to worship Him. After leaving Jerusalem, the wise men see a star, follow it, and comes to worship the King of Kings in a house and not in a stable.

The Magi read and believed God’s Word, they sought Jesus, recognized His worth, and humbled themselves before Him in worship. We should come into God’s house with such reverence when we’re in His presence.

This is the account that is given in Matthew 2:1-12. The Bible doesn’t mention how many Magi (even if there was really 3) so we shouldn’t take away or add to the Word.

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Jesus and Joseph: the similarities

Genesis 37:23 New International Version (NIV)

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing

Matthew 27:28 New International Version (NIV)

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Many characters in the Old Testament foreshadowed the life of our Savior, but perhaps no one foreshadowed the life of Christ more than Joseph. His faith was remarkable and a shining example for all of us. While rereading Genesis, I enjoyed discovering the similarities between him and our Savior. Did you notice any similarities? If so, how many?

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Joseph was a type of Christ. It’s no coincidence that Jesus’s earthly father was also called Joseph. I’ll share a few similarities I discovered while studying the life of Joseph:

💙 Joseph was a shepherd; Jesus is the Good Shepherd. 

💙 Joseph was loved by his father more than his other brothers (Gen 37:3) and Jesus is the beloved of His Father (Matt. 3:17).

💙 Joseph was mocked and called a dreamer (Gen 37:19) just as Jesus was called beside Himself (Mark 3:21).

💙 Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and stripped of his coat; Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver and stripped of his clothing. 

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💙 Both were tempted severely but did not sin.  

💙 They associated with two criminals: one is pardoned, the other is not.

💙 Both were 30 years old when they began their life’s work. 

💙 Both blessed the world with bread and became the only source of bread for the world. 

💙 Joseph recognized his brethren although they didn’t know him when they first came into Egypt to purchase provisions. After Jesus was resurrected, His brethren didn’t recognize Him, but He knew them.

💙 Joseph prepared a place for his family and received them into it; Jesus has prepared a place for us in His coming kingdom.

Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused, were great counselors, provided for all in need, and were men of strong faith.

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There are MANY other similarities! How many can you find? You can do them during your Bible Study period or you can feel free to share them below in the comment section.

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Our walk with God is not the same path 👣

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

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Never envy another person’s walk with God. He has called us to do different, but wonderful things in His Name and we should always be focused on our walk with Him to bring honor and glory to His Name always.

Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Is it okay to tell a lie?

The lyrics of “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac comes to mind as I penned the title down. You know, that song where the singer begs to be told sweet little lies?

Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
(Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Oh, no, no you can’t disguise
(You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise)

If love is unrequited, then why would you beg to be told that you’re loved when you’re not? Does being deceived makes you happy? Unfortunately, some of us just roll with it even though we know it’s wrong to hold onto false hopes.

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The Bible on lies:

In the Bible, we clearly see that lying is a sin and yes, very displeasing to God. In the Ten Commandments, we are warned to not bear false witness against our neighbors (Exodus 20:16) for lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22). If you go way back to when sin first entered the world, it was based on a lie told to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4). Ananias and Sapphira got called out for lying to the Holy Spirit in Acts 5:3.

There are a few instances in the Bible where white lies are told to save lives (see Exodus 1:15-21 & Joshua 2:5), but nowhere in the Bible does God gave His approval of these lies.

Nowhere in the Bible praises lies for saving lives 

God expects His children to follow Him in truth (John 14:6) for He never lies (Titus 1:2) and liars will be among those judged at the end (Revelation 21:8). 

Putting away lies no matter how small they are cause us to have healthy and truthful relationships with our neighbors

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Some lies we hear every day:

* When you’re asked “Do you have any questions?” and you answer no when in fact you may have lots of questions. Don’t feign ignorant knowledge. Even if you have to ask the same question 3 times until you have the right answer or to know that you’re carrying out your work accordingly, do it. 

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When your friend invites you to a little get-together, and you lie about having something at church or at home. Own your truth. If you don’t feel like attending, say so.

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* When Youtubers tell you that they’re putting 1000 donuts in a pool when in reality, it’s like 800. Youtubers think it’s okay to exaggerate numbers, but it’s click bait and not to mention, a lie at the end of the day. If you’re going to put 1000 donuts in the pool, I want to see 1000 donuts.

* When someone gets caught in a lie and they try to justify it by asking you to stop hating and try to reason with their lie in the first place.

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I’ve told white lies over the years to cover my tracks, but in the end, I’ve come to realize that even little white lies are wrong, no matter how sweet they may taste.

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Remember, the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). We worship God in truth so it’s obvious that honestly is the best policy regardless of the situation.

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Beautiful men in the Bible: answers

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Last Sabbath, the first Bible activity was launched and the topic was quite a handsome one if I must say so myself. I’m not one to pay attention to physical beauty while reading the Bible, but this time around, it happened to be of interest as I read, study, learn and rediscover God’s Word.

Before I list the answers, I just want to thank YOU for reading and participating by leaving comments. 💙

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Answers

We all know Sarah was beautiful (Genesis 12:11) and we’ve come across many other beautiful women in the Bible, but I’ve never really paid attention to how certain men are described in the Bible. So it started with Joseph’s handsome appearance (Genesis 39:6) and then I left off wondering how many other men’s beauty was referenced in the Bible. Are you still curious as I was? Here are the other males I came across:

Saul: Israel’s first King was tall and attractive (1 Samuel 9:2).

David: He had beautiful eyes, red hair (ruddy) and was very attractive (1 Samuel 16:12). I also noted his beauty was mentioned in 1 Samuel 16:18 (in this verse, we also see that he was a skillful musician, a mighty warrior and a wise man where it concerned speech and godly) and also in 1 Samuel 17:42. David was said to be effeminate in appearance by some Bible scholars. Even if he was, this doesn’t mean that he wore make-up and women’s clothing. He was just pretty, but all manly.

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Absalom: Obviously, someone had to inherit the father’s awfully pretty looks, but this one surpassed David for his beauty was flawless (2 Samuel 14:25). His beauty made him quite popular and he was also praised because of it.

Adonijah: He was quite handsome and born after Absalom (1 Kings 1:6).

The Assyrians were gorgeous men (Ezekiel 23:12) so were the Babylonians, the Chaldeans, and the Aramean tribes of Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa (Ezekiel 23:23).

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah‘s good looks were mentioned indirectly in Daniel 1:4. To work in the Babylonian King’s court the men had to be intelligent, knew their manners and of course, have good looks.

Moses‘ good looks are mentioned in Acts 7:20.

King of Tyre/Satan: Ezekiel 28:12-17

Solomon: Of course! Mentions of his beauty are peppered across SOS (Song of Solomon) especially in 5:10-16. SOS can be read as an allegory of Christ’s love for the church and also as a romantic love story and I intend to study it as both when that bridge is reached.

I did not include our Savior for He had no beauty that mankind may desire Him while He walked the earth (Isaiah 53:2), yet He is fairer than mankind (Psalm 45:2) for He is the eternal King. His beauty is so great that it cannot be compared with the mortal man. 

If I missed any, do let me know in the comment section down below. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Posted in Bible Activity/Discussion

Handsome men in the Bible

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Genesis 39:6 New International Version (NIV)

So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,

We just came from reading Genesis 39. We see that Joseph was handsome in form and appearance and he caught the roving eyes of Potiphar’s wife who tried (and failed) to seduce him. We’ve met many males in the Bible, but the emphasis of their beauty was not taken into consideration as Joseph’s (or a few others for that matter).

How the conception of male beauty has changed! In the Bible where a man was called handsome, we now call them pretty boys. It’s like the world is out of manly men! The men lately want to be in touch with their feminine side so they want to be metrosexuals. It’s all part of today’s worldly deception.

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Activity

The Bible calls a few other men handsome. One was even praised for his flawless beauty. Can you name them? Answers next Sabbath be it God’s willing as the theme this upcoming week is going to be centered around beauty

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